Kevin Hartnett

Senior Writer

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

Meet the New Math, Unlike the Old Math

The latest effort to overhaul math and science education offers a fundamental rethinking of the basic structure of knowledge. But will it be given time to work?

computer security

Hacker-Proof Code Confirmed

Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.


A Unified Theory of Randomness

Researchers have uncovered deep connections among different types of random objects, illuminating hidden geometric structures.


After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?


Taming Superconductors With String Theory

The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.


Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous abc conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism mixed with bafflement.


Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians.


The Information Theory of Life

The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.

Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

A recent cryptographic breakthrough has proven difficult to put into practice. But new advances show how near-perfect computer security might be surprisingly close at hand.